Bridge - Various Sizes
Air Dried Black Walnut
Greenleaf & Blueberry
Handmade in Western Colorado
Have you ever used (or heard of) a bridge? Not many people have. They are designed to help you protect your paper while you work. Literally, a bridge over your paper.
They allow you to easily access all areas of your paper while you work, while preventing smudging from your hand moving around and resting on your paper, skin oils from being deposited on your paper, or different parts of your hand or forearm from landing in or dragging around wet paint.
There are all kinds of work-arounds for these issues: some people use a tissue or piece of glassine between their hand and the paper, others use cotton fingerless gloves, and others may use and upright drafting table or easel and a maul stick (a little less common in watercolor).
I have used a bridge for years, as has our studio team for painting color charts. I prefer a bridge to other methods as it does a more thorough job of protecting the paper by keeping your hands and wrist entirely off of it. It allows you to work above wet paint and more completely prevents smudging.
The dimensions of our Bridges have been very specifically designed after several rounds of testing and prototyping. They are designed to allow you to work as close to the surface of the paper, while still protecting it and remaining durable.
We use the antique construction method of pegging to add both strength and beauty. Our maker's mark is branded on the underside of each bridge.
We have created three sizes to accommodate three common paper sizes:
Large: Sized to accommodate 9x12 paper at a diagonal.
Dimensions: 17.5 x 2.5 x .5"
Medium: Sized to accommodate 8x10 paper at a diagonal.
Dimensions:16 x 2.5 x .5"
Small: Sized to accommodate 4x6 paper at a diagonal.
Dimensions: 10 x 2 x .5"
Bridges are sized to accommodate each paper type at a diagonal.
Each bridge will feature unique grain and figuring, so that no two are the same.
If cared for, our Bridges are tools that should only increase in beauty with age, and last for many decades.
Made with black walnut from family land. These were trees planted and harvested by Nature herself, likely toppled in windstorms years after forgetful squirrels planted them in the heart of the Missouri Ozark Foothills.
My mother is the one with the eye for tree types (and birds and morel mushrooms). After she spies a down walnut, she and my father haul it under cover. Matt and my dad milled these trunks into boards, then stacked them to dry for a year before we haul them out to Western Colorado, where they dried for several more years in our dry cold desert air.
The deep color of our walnut can only be obtained from slowly air drying it. Kiln dried wood is the norm, as air dried wood is nearly impossible to come by.
After the wood has fully dried and cured, we then transform it into our designs, by hand, in our studios.
These special two-tone bridges are made using pieces of wood that feature the transition from heartwood to sapwood. Heartwood is the older growth at towards the center of the tree, and is usually darker - in the case of air dried Black Walnut it is much darker. Sap wood is lighter, towards the outside of the trunk and is where nutrients are transferred from the tree's roots to the leaves. Sapwood is often cut away, as people tend to prefer to isolate the rich dark heartwood for projects. We think that the contrast and unique organic patterns are a stunning feature.
Please note that no two bridges are alike!
© Greenleaf & Blueberry LLC 2011-2022